The Adam K. Beckett Complete Works DVD is available!

Released in January of 2012, this comprehensive DVD is available through the iotaCenter online store.

The Adam Beckett DVD includes his 6 released animations plus:
  • Early Animations (1969)
  • Life in the Atom (unfinished, 35mm)
  • "The Knotte Grosse Experiments"
  • Every Other (early collaboration by Adam and Kathy Rose)
  • The Letter with James Gore
  • Dream of the Sphinx, by James Gore
  • Interview with Jules Engel
  • Persistent Memories of the Infinite Animator (Super-8 footage by David Berry; includes home movies and behind the scenes at the fledgling ILM as they worked on the first Star Wars!)
  • plus an art gallery of Adam's work, film loops, and images of Adam.

Robert Russett Interview with Adam Beckett, November 1974, as printed in the first edition of Experimental Animation: An Illistrated Anthology, by Robert Russett and Cecile Starr. (PDF) Reprinted with the kind permission of the authors.

Please contact me (ptturner@vcu.edu) if you have more information as regards his work, the location of drawings, films, his influences, or artists that he has influenced.

Also, contact me if you are interested in Adam's work and would like to contribute to the Adam Beckett Project. (Note: Donations to the iotaCenter are tax-deductible.)


Images courtesy of Adam Beckett family and The iotaCenter. Do not reproduce text or images without written permission.


Dear Janice
Dear Janice (1972) - restored!

Early Animations - still

Still from Early Animations or Quacked Jokes (before restoration)

The Adam Beckett Project

Following is an overview of information about the animator Adam Beckett, whose work I am currently researching, as a research associate at The iotaCenter.

The iotaCenter is the premiere organization for visual music, and as a non-profit organization relies on donations to fund special projects. If you would like to contribute to the work being done for the Adam Beckett Project you can donate at the iota website, and specify that your donation be used for this project.

Adam Beckett

Adam spent most of his life in California, except for 2 years at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and a year with his family in India. He also traveled with the free-spirited group The Hog Farm, who received media attention for their role as food and security providers at Woodstock. He continued his undergraduate studies at CalArts, enrolling there the year it opened, 1970.

He is consistently described, by those who knew him, as a unique, gifted, and truly brilliant individual and artist. His works influenced many emerging filmmakers at CalArts, in the Los Angeles area, and beyond due to the success of his work in numerous festivals internationally.

Adam developed a unique technique that involved creating a loop of images that continued to evolve with each loop cycle. In this way a series of drawings, say 12, would be shot, modified and re-shot, so that by the end of the film, the original drawings no longer existed. This was augmented with phasing of the imagery, changing the area of view, and other sophisticated use of the optical printer, which he learned from the master, Pat O'Neill, while at CalArts. This technique, and the wonderful mind and imagery that Adam brought to his film, resulted in truly remarkable, distinctive body of work.

In 1974 he began his independent animation company, Infinite Animation, where he continued to produce his own work. In addition to his animation, he taught at CalArts and worked in the film industry, most notably at ILM, as head of Animation and Rotoscoping on Star Wars.

Although his work is now over thirty years old, Adam's work continues to be shown and those who have been fortunate enough to see his work still refer to him as an influence.

Preservation and Research Project

The iotaCenter has successfully worked with the Academy Film Archive (AFA) in Hollywood, to see that Adam's films have been restored. New film prints are available through Canyon Cinema. In 2006 Adam's family, through a Deed of Gift, transferred their collection of Adam's animated films to The iotaCenter. This work is now safely housed at the AFA.. This deposit includes many elements and prints - over 600 pieces in all!

Thank you Julie, Evan and Deirdre for the gift of this material.

- Pamela Taylor Turner

Evolution of the Red Star




Flesh Flows



Independent animations

  • 1969/1970 "Early Animations or Quacked Jokes" (restored/not released)
  • 1970/1971 "The Letter (Un Lettre a une Ami) with James Gore
  • 1972– “Dear Janice”
  • 1973 - “Evolution of the Red Star”; “Heavy-Light”
  • 1974 – “Flesh Flows”; “Sausage City”
  • 1975 – “Kitsch in Synch” ( produced at CalArts while teaching)

Works never completed:

  • "Life in the Atom" (35mm)
  • "Knotte Grosse" (received 1974 AFI grant)
  • remake of "Dear Janice"

Commercial and commissioned work

  • 1974 - Animation Tournee title sequence
  • 1975 – “Visions” festival title sequence
  • 1975 – contributed to Hubley TV series “Everybody Rides the Carousel”
  • 1977 – Animation and rotoscope head Star Wars
  • 1978 – animator on “Piranha”
  • 2000 – honorary technical advisor credit on “The Cell”


Evolution of the Red Star

  • 1973 – Sinking Creek Film and Video Festival
  • 1974 – Washington National Student Film Festival, Brooklyn Independent Filmmakers Exposition, Vanguard International Competition of Electronic Music for Film, Humboldt Film Festival


  • 1973 – Sinking Creek Film and Video Festival
  • 1974 – Athens International Film Festival, Humboldt Film Festival

Flesh Flows

  • 1973 – Sinking Creek Film and Video Festival, 10th Chicago International Film Festival (Hugo trophy)
  • 1974 – Humboldt Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 13th Foothill International Independent Filmmakers' Exposition, Orange Coast Film Festival

Sausage City

  • 1974 – Humboldt Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival

Kitsch in Synch

  • 1975 – Best Sound Score, Cinemedia, Marin County Fair

All six of his released films (from 1972 - 1975) are distributed through Canyon Cinema - newly restored prints are now available, including Dear Janice!





The Letter (Une Lettre a une Ami) - 1971, with James Gore



Self Portraits: Adam Beckett and Kathy Rose

(Image from a sketchbook.)





Images courtesy of Adam Beckett family and The iotaCenter.

Do not copy text or images without written permission.


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